Belvedere News and Announcements - November 21, 2023

From the Administration

Dear Belvedere Families,

As we are approaching our fall break, we want to send a reminder that there is no school Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday of this week.  We are encouraging our Belvedere team to disconnect from school and spend time with family and friends.  We hope you are able to do the same.

We wish you all a wonderful fall break filled with warmth, joy, and gratitude.  We are grateful for our fabulous community and the memories we continue to create. Have a great break!

Best regards,

Cecilia Vanderhye, Principal

Tara Boone, Assistant Principal

Kelly Cabezas, Assistant Principal 


Schools and offices will be closed Wednesday-Friday, November 22-24. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Classes will resume on Monday, November 27. Learn more about the first Thanksgiving. See the complete school year calendar.


Family Survey on IB Program

Belvedere Elementary School is approaching the International Baccalaureate evaluation, which happens every five years after a school has been authorized as an IB world school. During evaluation, IB staff will be visiting Belvedere and will assess the school’s implementation of the IB program. In preparation for the IB evaluation, the entire school community is asked to reflect on the school’s implementation of the Primary Years Program. To support this process, we kindly ask for your feedback and thank you in advance for completing the following survey. Below are links to the survey both in English and in Spanish. We sincerely appreciate your time and reflection.



Belvedere Spirit Wear

Watch for information in your Friday folders or click here to order Spirit Wear before the holidays! Orders must be placed by November 26th!


Belvedere Outdoor Club

Join Outdoor Club trip on Saturday, December 2, 2023, at Lake Accotink Park! Outdoor Club meets on select Saturday mornings to explore local parks with students and their families. Bus transportation is available from Belvedere and Barcroft View apartments. More information and permission slips were sent home in Friday folders (also available here). Space is limited and participation is first come, first served, as forms are received. 

This year’s remaining Outdoor Club trips are tentatively scheduled for 1/20, 3/16, 4/13, and 5/18. Please contact our Environmental Educator, Andrea Auerbach ( with questions.

Dads at Belvedere (DAB)

Dads at Belvedere (formerly Watch D.O.G.S.) is a program to help our school be positively impacted by the committed involvement of fathers and father-figures in their student’s life. Our goal is to have you spend at least one day this year at the school to be a positive male role-model. Dads this is your chance to get involved in a fun atmosphere at school!

Dads will volunteer at the school for one full day. School will provide the schedule to include activities such as: recess, lunch, specials, classroom time, etc.

Our kids love seeing the grown-ups in their life at school! Additionally, Dads are demonstrating through their presence that education is important.

Sign up for a day on our calendar using the Signup Genius below:

Download the flyer!

Community Review of Elementary English Language Arts Basal Instructional Resources 

FCPS will adopt new Elementary School Language Arts Basal Instructional Resources for the 2024-25 school year. Public review of the recommended materials is part of the process for selecting new resources. 

You may access the resources in person and online from Wednesday, November 15, until Friday, December 15, at noon. Digital materials for public review and comment will be available on the Elementary Language Arts Basal Resource Review webpage. Those reviewing instructional materials may complete an electronic comment sheet that will be available on the webpage during the review period. 

Visit FCPS' website for instructions on how to view hard copies of the instructional materials at Pimmit Hills Center. The Elementary Language Arts team will be there to answer questions Friday, December 1, 4-8 p.m., and Saturday, December 2, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 

All community feedback will be shared with the review committee and School Board.

Family Engagement Month

November is Family Engagement in Education Month! When schools and families work together to support learning and healthy development, everyone benefits! Check out this calendar for ideas of how to stay involved with your child's education. 

Special Education Resources for Families

Fairfax County Public Schools has the following resources available to assist families of students with special needs. 

  • The Office of Special Education Procedural Support helps staff, families, and students with the implementation of and compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended. 
  • Kathy Murphy, the assistant ombuds for special education, provides information and support to caregivers and students regarding special education and Section 504 services. Contact the Ombuds Office by submitting a question, calling 571-423-4014, or emailing

Additionally, the Virginia Department of Education has updated the Virginia Family's Guide to Special Education. This state guide was developed to help those involved in special education including families, teachers, school administrators, advocates, and  students.

Staying Healthy This Cold/Flu Season

Cases of RSV, the flu, and other viruses often rise this time of year. It is important for students to wash their hands regularly and cover their coughs and sneezes. Please monitor your child’s health daily and keep them at home if they are sick. Visit FCPS' Health and Safety Guidance webpage for more tips.

Student Attendance and Engagement

During the Academic Matters segment of the November 9 School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid discussed student attendance and engagement. Attendance and absenteeism rates are one measure for Goal 2 of our 2023-30 Strategic Plan

Chronic absenteeism — which is defined as a student missing 10% or more of school for any reason — is a concern across Virginia school districts. Although FCPS continues to outperform the state average in attendance rates, we are tracking chronic absenteeism closely.

Data shows that:

  • Missing just 10% of school — just two days a month — negatively affects a student’s academic performance. 
  • Only 17% of students who were chronically absent in both kindergarten and first grade were reading proficiently in third grade, compared to 64% of those with good attendance.
  • Students who fail to read at grade level by the end of third grade are four times more likely than students who achieve proficiency to drop out of high school.
  • By sixth grade, chronic absenteeism becomes a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school.

Attendance is critical for academic success!

Buses and Delays

If a student’s bus is delayed, parents may access the Bus Delay Notification System or use the Here Comes the Bus mobile app to receive the delayed bus report.  Use code 28982 when registering for Here Comes the Bus. 

PTA News

Belvedere November Read-a-thon (November 8-22)!

The Read-a-thon fundraiser is going strong! Please review the email from 99Pledges and share your child's personalized fundraising page with family, friends and colleagues! Also do not forget to fill out reading logs with your child each day - classes with the most minutes will earn prizes! Keep reading!

Belvedere Spirit Wear

Watch for information in your Friday folders or click here to order Spirit Wear before the holidays!

Family Culture Night (December 6, 6:30-8:30PM) - Volunteers Needed!  

On the night of the last PTA meeting for the year, we will be hosting a Family Culture Night for students and families. If you are interested in volunteering, please email directly! Stay tuned for more information coming soon....

Happy Thanksgiving Break!

Become a Member of the PTA and/or Support Belvedere with a donation

Our PTA supports Belvedere in myriad ways: organizing school events, enrichment and outreach activities; providing funding for field trips, library books, and technology in the classroom; and building a school community outside the classroom through events like movie night, teacher appreciation, international night, read-a-thon, and more.

To purchase a membership or make a direct donation, please go to and choose your membership type (Staff $5 or Parent $10) and/or select Direct Donation to make a one-time or recurring donation. Thank you again for supporting the Belvedere PTA!  

Visit for more information about our PTA or to make a donation.

Save the date for our next meeting, Wednesday, December 6, 6:30 pm. 

Questions or concerns? Email

Upcoming Dates

  • November 8-22 - Read-a-thon
  • November 22-24 - No School (Thanksgiving Holiday)
  • December 6 - International Night/PTA Meeting
  • December 18 - January 1 - Winter Break

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FCPS Calendar: 2023-2024